Headed to The Big Apple? The endless number of studios, shops, shows and restaurants can seem overwhelming. Let Dance Spirit and a few NYC dance insiders be your guides.
Clockwise from top left: Alex Lopez/NYC & Company, Clayton Cotterell/NYC & Company, Alex Lopez/NYC & Company, Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company, Marley White/NYC & Company, Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company
(Photo by Peter Hurley, courtesy Paloma Garcia-Lee)
Paloma Garcia-Lee: Broadway dancer Garcia-Lee has performed in Phantom of the Opera and Nice Work If You Can Get It. She says: “Follow your workouts with sweaty Yin yoga classes at Modo Yoga NYC. Some of the instructors are also dancers, so you might end up taking with someone you’ll see onstage.”
(Photo by Paul B Goode, courtesy Kaitlyn Gilliland)
Kaitlyn Gilliland: A former New York City Ballet corps member, Gilliland dances with Ballet Next. Her food picks: “Kefi is a great Greek restaurant on the Upper West Side, and Good Enough to Eat is a brunch favorite.”
(Photo courtesy Paul Taylor Dance Company)
Laura Halzack: Halzack is a member of Paul Taylor DanceCompany. Her cure for a sweet tooth: “You have to go to Doughnut Plant near the Taylor Studios at least once. I could eat one of their doughnuts every day—they have unique flavors.”
(Photo by Mathieu Young/FOX, courtesy Alex Wong)
Alex Wong: A “So You Think You Can Dance” All-Star, Wong is a former Newsies dancer. His training tip: “Broadway Dance Center has an ever-changing list of guest teachers. It’s a great way to take class from working choreographers who aren’t always in town.
Are you a ballet dancer? Start your uptown adventure here.
You wake up in the morning craving…
…something hearty. Head to one of NYC’s top bagel joints, ABSOLUTE BAGELS (Broadway, btwn W 107th and W 108th Sts)…something light and nutritious. Grab a cold-pressed juice and a yogurt parfait from JUICE PRESS (W 82nd St, btwn Columbus Ave and Central Park West).
(Logo courtesy Steps on Broadway)
You’re ready for your first class of the day. You head…
…right to the barre. “Take advanced ballet with Wilhelm Burmann or Nancy Bielski at STEPS ON BROADWAY,” Gilliland says (W 74th St and Broadway)…to Pilates first. Take a mat class at UPTOWN PILATES (W 72nd St, btwn Amsterdam and Columbus Aves). Now I’m ready for ballet...Take Kathryn Sullivan’s class at STEPS ON BROADWAY. She stresses proper placement and quick footwork.
How’s the weather today?
The sun is shining. Catch some rays in RIVERSIDE PARK on Manhattan’s West Side (Along Riverside Dr, from W 72nd to W 158th Sts). It’s raining. Head to PINKY’S SALON, Gilliland’s favorite spot for a manicure (Columbus Ave, btwn W 74th and W 75th Sts). Hot! But it’s perfect in the shade. Walk to CENTRAL PARK. Stroll through John Lennon’s memorial, Strawberry Fields, for a break from NYC’s hustle and bustle (Near W 72nd St and Central Park West).
Metropolitan Museum of Art (photo by Joe Buglewicz/NYC & Company)
Is that your stomach grumbling?
Let’s stay in the neighborhood. “ ’WICHCRAFT, across from the David H. Koch Theater, serves indulgent sandwiches and tasty cookies,” Gilliland says (W 62nd St and Broadway). I want to explore the East Side. Grab a falafel from a street vendor and have lunch on the stairs of THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART—then head inside to see some of the exhibits (5th Ave and E 82nd St).
When it comes to afternoon adventures, you prefer to…
…stay outdoors. Walk to the BOAT BASIN CAFE and enjoy a lemonade while looking
out over the Hudson River (W 79th St, in Riverside Park)…find the nearest museum. Visit the Hayden Planetarium at the AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY (Central Park West and W 79th St)…get sweaty! Sign up for a “Figure 4 Barre” conditioning class at PURE YOGA, where many of the instructors are former dancers (E 86th St, btwn 2nd and 3rd Aves).
Let’s stop for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Indulge my sweet tooth! Stop by TREAT HOUSE and grab some gourmet crispy treats (Amsterdam Ave, btwn W 81st and W 82nd Sts). I’m thirsty. Sip an iced tea at CAFE LALO (W 83rd St, btwn Broadway and Amsterdam Aves).
Ready for an early dinner before a show?
I want lots of options. Head to ZABAR’S CAFE for some tasty deli specialties (Broadway and W 81st St). I’m on a tight budget. Grab a $1 hot dog (or two!) at GRAY’S PAPAYA (Broadway and W 72 St).
On clear summer nights, enjoy a free LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS show with music and dance from around the globe (Columbus Ave at W 63rd St).
Do you dream of Broadway? Start your midtown tour here.
What’s your preferred morning meal?
I’m a full-breakfast kind of girl. Try a savory breakfast pie from PIE FACE (Broadway and W 53rd St). Something small and to-go. Order a croissant from GREGORYS COFFEE—one of Garcia-Lee’s favorite spots for a morning fix (W 44th St and 6th Ave).
Whether I’ll be tapping, strutting or popping…
…I need a soothing warm-up. Wake up your senses in a Gyrotonic session at CIRCULAR POWER INC (7th Ave, btwn W 54th and W 55th Sts)…my day starts with an intense workout. Sweat, tone and feel the burn in a dance-inspired PHYSIQUE 57 class (W 57th St, btwn 5th and 6th Aves)…nothing gets me centered like a ballet class. Take Deborah Wingert’s class at MANHATTAN MOVEMENT & ARTS CENTER. “I always take ballet at MMAC,” Wong says. “The studios are beautiful” (W 60th St, btwn Amsterdam and 11th Aves).
Now I’m warm!
(Logo courtesy Broadway Dance Center)
I want to really let go. Learn a detailed contemporary jazz combo in Slam’s mid-morning class at BROADWAY DANCE CENTER (W 45th St, btwn 8th and 9th Aves). I want a technical challenge. Take Sue Samuels’ Broadway jazz class at BROADWAY DANCE CENTER.
Yes! Let’s get lunch. “GREEN SYMPHONY is my favorite quick stop,” says Garcia-Lee. Try a veggie wrap or a kale salad (W 43rd St, btwn 7th and 8th Aves). I could go for a small snack. Head to the signature NYC grocery store DEAN & DELUCA (W 56th St, btwn 6th and 7th Aves).
Time for some sightseeing.
Let’s stay outside. Tour the CENTRAL PARK ZOO and visit the two super-cute snow leopard cubs (E 64th St and 5th Ave). Let’s go to a museum. Soak in the bizarre and the beautiful at THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (W 53rd St, btwn 5th and 6th Aves).
What’s on your afternoon agenda?
I can’t leave NYC without doing a little window shopping. Stroll down 5TH AVE for the best displays in town (5th Ave, btwn E 59th and E 42nd Sts). I’m ready for some fun cardio. While THE AILEY SCHOOL is known as a mecca for modern dance, its ZUMBA FITNESS classes are some of the most popular in NYC (W 55th St and 9th Ave). I want to get cheap Broadway tickets. Head to the TKTS BOOTH in Times Square. Garcia-Lee’s advice: “Get in line early!” (Broadway and 47th St).
I’m starving! Before a night on the town, I want…
…a trendy dinner. “Get the Adobe Salad from EATERY,” says Garcia-Lee. “It’s my favorite salad in Hell’s Kitchen” (W 53rd and 9th Ave)…a classic pastrami sandwich. Go to CARNEGIE DELI for sandwiches big enough to split with a friend (W 55th St and 7th Ave).
New York City Center (photo by Aislinn Weidele/Ennead Architects)
Head to THE GREAT WHITE WAY. Check out our “Broadway Show Guide” to see what’s playing. See what musicals may be Broadway-bound at “Encores! Off-Center” at NEW YORK CITY CENTER (W 55th St, btwn 6th and 7th Aves).
Are you a downtown diva? Modern or contemporary dancers, start here.
I always start the day with…
…fruits and veggies. Try a PB Açai Bowl and a green juice from JUICE GENERATION (Prince and Crosby Sts, in the Equinox Gym)…a protein-filled punch. Head to DAVID’S BAGELS for one of the city’s best egg-and-cheese sandwiches (1st Ave, btwn E 15th and E 16th Sts).
Let’s get moving!
A modern class starts my day on a positive note. Take class from Paul Taylor Dance Company members at THE TAYLOR SCHOOL (Grand St, btwn Jackson and Lewis Sts). I’m craving a full-body workout. Hop into a conditioning session with Rachel Piskin at CHAISEFITNESS (E 23rd St, btwn Madison and Park Aves). I want to sweat before dance class. Try a spin class at SOULCYCLE (SoHo location: Crosby St, btwn Spring and Broome Sts).
(Logo courtesy Gibney Dance)
Now I’m ready for class.
I want to explore a postmodern style. See who’s leading a contemporary workshop at the new downtown GIBNEY DANCE CENTER (Broadway and Chambers St).
(Photo courtesy Peridance Capezio Center)
I want something classic. Get a lesson in Limón Technique at THE PERIDANCE CAPEZIO CENTER (E 13th St, btwn 3rd and 4th Aves).
Time for lunch!
Let’s get a burger. Head to SHAKE SHACK—and try a custard, too. “My favorite is the Urban Lumber-Shack,” says Wong. “It’s vanilla custard with Belgian waffles, bananas, bacon and peanut brittle” (Madison Square Park, E 23rd St and Madison Ave). I love PB & Js. Try a crazy concoction from PEANUT BUTTER & CO., like The Heat Is On Sandwich: spicy peanut butter with grilled chicken and pineapple jam (Sullivan St, btwn Bleecker and W 3rd Sts).
Let’s get lunch outside.
I want to head downtown. Take the subway to the newly renovated SOUTH STREET SEAPORT (Pier 17, at Fulton and Front Sts). I want something fresh. Taste locally sourced produce and baked goods as you stroll through the UNION SQUARE GREENMARKET (E 14th St and Broadway). OK, but let’s go for a ride first. Pedal a CitiBike across the BROOKLYN BRIDGE and get a pizza from GRIMALDI’S (Front
and Old Fulton Sts).
Next, I’d like to...
…take a moment to reflect. Visit the new WORLD TRADE CENTER and The National September 11 Memorial & Museum (Albany and Greenwich Sts)… see the sights. You can take the free ferry to Staten Island and enjoy incredible views of THE STATUE OF LIBERTY (Hop the 1 train to South Ferry station).
For an afternoon break, I want to…
Washington Square Park (photo by LittleNY/Thinkstock)
…hang out with friends. Listen to street musicians in WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK (5th Ave, btwn W 4th St and Waverly Pl)…get something sweet. Visit the home of the original cronut—a croissant and doughnut hybrid—DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY (Spring St, btwn Sullivan and Thompson Sts).
Before a show, I want…
…something hearty. “THE MEATBALL SHOP is fun, and not crazy-expensive,” says Halzack. “I love the traditional Bolognese Ball” (Greenwich Ave, btwn W 11th and Perry Sts)…dessert for dinner! “CHIKALICIOUS DESSERT BAR in the East Village has the best desserts in the world,” says Wong. “And the owners are big dance supporters” (E 10th St, btwn 1st and 2nd Aves).
See companies including Pilobolus and RIOULT Dance NY this summer at THE JOYCE THEATER (8th Ave, btwn W 18th and W 19th Sts). For the latest postmodern and contemporary work, head to DANSPACE PROJECT (E 10th St and 2nd Ave).
Heads up, guys: Paul Taylor Dance Company is going to be selling $5 tickets to its March 6 Lincoln Center performance, which honors the 25th birthdays of Taylor's Brandenburgs and Speaking in Tongues.
Great, right? But there's a (cute) catch.
Last year, the company tried something similar, selling $7.50 tickets to a performance celebrating Aureole's 75th anniversary. The problem? They sold out in 45 minutes.
So this time around, the company has decided to offer the discounted tickets at little pop-up locations around Manhattan on four different days, giving Taylor fans all over the city a better shot at scoring them. Here's a rundown of the dates/locations:
Tuesday, January 22, Noon - 2 p.m.
Chacott by Freed of London
20 East 20th Street
Between Park Avenue and Broadway
Friday, January 25, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
19 Cleveland Place
Between Spring and Kenmare Streets
Sunday, January 27, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Paul Taylor Dance Company Studios
551 Grand Street
Between Jackson and Lewis Streets
Monday, January 28, 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Dancers Responding to AIDS’ Dance from the Heart
Cedar Lake Theater
547 West 26thStreet
Between 10th and 11th Streets
Happy ticket tracking!
The vision for Paul Taylor’s reimagined company, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance, becomes fully realized this month with its spring season, opening March 16 and running through April 3. Rather than its usual all-Taylor programming, the group will perform commissioned premieres by choreographers Larry Keigwin and Doug Elkins, as well as Diversion of Angels by Martha Graham and two new Taylor works, Sullivaniana and Dilly Dilly. Dancer Heather McGinley, a Paul Taylor company member since 2011, takes us behind the scenes.
Heather McGinley rehearsing Martha Graham's Diversion of Angels. (Photo by Paul B. Goode, courtesy Paul Taylor Dance Company)
Dance Spirit: What’s it been like working with new choreographers?
Heather McGinley: Larry Keigwin and Doug Elkins are very different—it’s been thrilling to work with them. Larry’s style is a little bit closer to what we’re used to. Doug’s is more of a departure. His choreography involves a lot of break dancing, voguing and house dancing, so we had workshops to get the feel.
DS: Has Paul Taylor been involved in rehearsals?
HM: So far, Taylor’s let the choreographers have us to themselves. He hasn’t seen the final product yet. He’s been letting Larry and Doug do their thing!
DS: As a former Martha Graham Dance Company member, what does it mean to be able to perform a Graham piece again?
HM: It’s very exciting. We’ve been taking some Graham classes to get into the style, and I’m hoping it’ll be like riding a bike! Diversion of Angels is going to be really beautiful on the Taylor Company.
DS: Are Keigwin and Elkins letting Taylor’s style influence their choreography?
HM: Absolutely. It’s not like they came in and said, “Forget everything you know, I want you to move like this.” They’re very interested in seeing what we do with the movement they’re giving us.
DS: What will audiences take away from this new season?
HM: I think they’ll feel an excitement for the future of the company. It’s only been Paul Taylor for over 60 years, so it’s a pretty big departure and a big deal.
Ah, Independence Day. (Or as we like to call it around here, Indepen-DANCE day—it never gets old!) A whole 24 hours of hot dogs, corn on the cob, Popsicles, fireworks and red white and blue everything. Let's get this partay started!
To get us all in the spirit, here's part two of Dance Spirit's roundup of the most 'merican of Americana dance-odes.
1. Created in 1944, Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring brings us right to the heart of the American frontier, exploring the lives of two pioneer newlyweds. It's not super flashy, but add in Aaron Copland's iconic score, and it's a perfect recipe for celebrating the American dream.
Here's the Martha Graham Dance Company performing it last summer at Saratoga Performing Arts Center:
2. Agnes de Mille's Rodeo: The Courting at Burnt Ranch is also fueled by Copland's music. You might recognize his famous "Hoedown" movement in the fourth section, popularized by beef commercials in the early 1990s. (Oh, the 90s.) But the music gets me every time—it just screams America!
Here are the dancers of Colorado Ballet riding their imaginary horses in the first scene:
3. Ready for more pioneer goodness? Here's "Laurey's Dream Ballet," from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Agnes de Mille choreographed the original Oklahoma! on Broadway in 1943, and in the clip below, you'll see the work of American Broadway darling Susan Stroman.
(A quick fyi: This is from the 1998 West End revival. I know, I know—British. Sorry. But it's also the version with Aussie Hugh Jackman, and American or not, you just can't look away...)
4. Let's fast forward a couple decades to Paul Taylor's Company B. It's set to the delightful musical stylings of the Andrews Sisters. Boogie on, bugle boy!
Here are excerpts of Miami City Ballet in the work:
5. And finally, there's a new celebration of our country's origins in town. Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton, which opens on Broadway on July 13, drops us smack in the middle of the American Revolution. Is there a better way to commemorate our nation's history than with a dramatization of the founding fathers themselves? ...anyone?...anyone?... NOPE.
Look in your July/August issues for an interview with Hamilton's choreographer, Andy Blankenbuehler.
Happy Fourth, y'all!
We LOVE summer in NYC. Granted, the sweaty subway stations are borderline unbearable, but it's all worth it when you consider the plethora of glorious opportunities the season presents. From ferry rides to food festivals, from lounging in Central Park to frolicking at Coney Island—the options are practically limitless.
But our absolute favorite way to spend a summer evening in the Big Apple is to take advantage of the long list of outdoor (and, more often than not, free!) performances. Earlier this week, we told you about Broadway in Bryant Park. But there's also Central Park SummerStage, Prospect Park's Celebrate Brooklyn! and Lincoln Center Out of Doors.
Kind of an amazing performance venue, no? (Photo ©Stephanie Berger)
This Friday, August 1, none other than Paul Taylor Dance Company will perform at Damrosch Park as a part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors. PTDC is celebrating its 60th anniversary, so you know this is gonna be good. Featured pieces include Fibers (1961) and Aureole. The final piece on the program will be a special treat: the world premiere of Piazzolla Caldera, originally choreographed in 1997, set to the live music and arrangements of Pablo Ziegler's New Tango Ensemble. How we're getting all this for free, I'm not really sure—but I'm not complaining!
The performance kicks off at 7:30 pm, but be sure to arrive early to stake out your seats and to grab a little Street Food BBQ around the park. And to give you a little taste of what you're in for, here's a clip of the company performing Piazzolla Caldera at the 2010 Vail International Dance Festival:
Craving more Taylor? The company will host a master series each Friday from August 8–September 12. Not only will you get a chance to learn the movement, but students are invited to watch PTDC rehearse for an hour after each class. Way cool! Click here to register.
Fleet in Piazzolla Caldera (photo by Tom Caravaglia)
Michelle Fleet makes intricate choreography look as natural as breathing. A 12-year veteran of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Fleet morphs to fit each work in Taylor’s diverse repertory: She’s sweetly innocent in the lyrical Esplanade, strong and sensual in the fiery Piazzolla Caldera. Born in the Bronx, NY, Fleet started her dance training at age 4. As a teen, she studied at Ballet Hispanico of New York and became a member of Ballet Hispanico’s Junior Company. After earning her BFA in dance from Purchase College, she joined Taylor 2 in 1999 and PTDC in 2002. (She also earned her MBA in business management in 2006.) Catch Fleet onstage this month during PTDC’s Lincoln Center season. —Margaret Fuhrer
Girl, get ready for the ride, because it’s going to be a great one. Don’t freak out—it’s just me/you here with some advice. It’s like Back to the Future!
First of all, trust your gut and listen to your mom. Somehow you’re both right. You’ll be blessed with so many opportunities, and that’s mainly due to Mom. You couldn’t ask for a bigger fan. Cherish her!
Second, remember that every egg hatches at its own time. Always remain open to learning more, even when you think you already know it all. It’s OK not to be just like the girl next to you. You were born to dance to your own tune.
Cry when you need to, but laugh at yourself, too. Laughter will get you through frustrating moments, and it helps build character. Speaking of character: You’re not defined by where you take dance class, what high school you go to or who your friends are. It’s your actions, your dedication, your passion and, of course, your God-given talent that define you.
Fleet as a young student (courtesy Michelle Fleet)
Find those special moments in class and humbly push for excellence. Even though you hate it, standing front and center will help you get the job. Stop hiding! Your teachers will push you to the front anyway.
Dance is your first love, and it will always live in your soul. Dancing is your happy place, your place of pure peace. Everything you’ve experienced thus far is going to feed your artistry. What you have to offer this world is valid—it’s going to move and inspire people. Giving up has never been an option and never will be. Dancers are warriors!
It's time for yet another installment of Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild Are Awesome! And this round involves the great Paul Taylor Dance Company.
Recently, Paul Taylor announced that PTDC—which until now has performed exclusively Taylor-made (see what we did there?) works—will be transitioning to a repertory model. What does that mean? It means that in addition to performing Taylor's dances, the company will bring back older, non-Taylor masterpieces, as well as works by contemporary choreographers. Basically, the PTDC doors will be open to an even wider range of talented artists.
And here's the good news for those of us who love both ballet and Taylor: That new open-door policy starts next month, when brilliant New York City Ballet principals Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild will perform parts of Taylor's Airs at the PTDC NYC gala.
Here's the dynamic duo in Christopher Wheeldon’s "A Place for Us" (photo by Paul Kolnik).
Normally we feel a little weird about ballet dancers tackling Taylor. Though plenty of ballet companies dance Taylor works, ballet peeps tend to look dainty doing his choreography. But seeing as Peck and Fairchild can dance pretty much anything, this performance promises to be fun for dance fans of all stripes.
Catch the Taylor gala at NYC's Koch Theater on March 13—it's part of the PTDC Lincoln Center season that runs March 11-30.